So you’ve booked your flights and South America tours for the ultimate trip to South America, now what? You’re going to need to start working on your South America packing list! Packing for a destination you’ve never visited before can prove a little tricky, but by the end of this post, you’ll have a much better idea of items needed for travel.
As a general rule, because South America is located mainly in the Southern Hemisphere, summer takes place from November to February and winter from June to August. However, different conditions occur in regions across the continent, so it’s best to check the specific place you’re headed to before your trip.
Here are some of our best South America packing tips and the things we find essential for travelling!
What to pack for South America
If you’re an organised planner, you’ll be making an extensive list of things to bring along while travelling before your trip. You’ll plan out your travel clothing essentials before asking yourself and the internet questions like “which language phrasebook would you take with you on a trip to Paraguay?”
Not to worry, we’ve got all the answers!
What to wear in South America
Packing for South America is easier than you think. The main tip to keep in mind is to pack comfortable clothes that are versatile enough to go touring in. Here are our top picks!
South America clothes:
Leggings/Spandex – These can be worn as comfy bottoms during your trip, but they’re extremely versatile. When you’re not sure just how much activity your tour involves, wearing leggings is always a safe bet.
Shorts/Skirt – Pack a neutral colour pair of shorts or a skirt (that will match anything) to get you by if your visit is during the summer months in South America.
Rain Jacket – Taking a lightweight jacket with you to South America is always a good idea. Many of the countries contain rainforests or have a humid climate in which a rain jacket will come in very handy.
Swimsuit – A swimsuit is something you’ll definitely need handy, especially if you’re visiting a beach location.
Jumper or a light sweater – Adding a jumper or a light sweater to your South America packing list is a must. Even if you’re visiting during the summer months, you’ll still make use of a jumper at some point or another; even if it’s just on a bus ride that has the aircon on full-blast.
South American shoes:
Hiking Shoes – If you plan on taking a hiking tour during your trip to South America, then a pair of comfortable walking shoes are essential. You don’t want to be getting blisters because you don’t have the appropriate shoes.
Sneakers/Comfortable Walking Shoes – You’ll probably be doing a lot of walking during your trip. Exploring new places every day can be a major workout that you don’t even realize you’re getting. Be sure to pack sneakers that you are comfortable wearing almost every day as you don’t want your feet taking the strain.
Sandals – A pair of sandals are absolutely essential on hot days. Be sure to pack a pair that are comfortable to walk in, and match a variety of your outfits.
Other South American travel essentials:
Now that you know what clothes you’ll be packing for your adventure to South America, it’s time to look at the other essentials you’ll need during your trip.
Camera – No matter where in South America you decide to go, there’s sure to be some incredible sights, tourist attractions and natural beauty that you’ll want to capture along the way. You simply cannot visit this culturally rich continent without a camera to capture it all!
Travel Adapter/Converter – Unless you’re travelling from a country with the same style plugs and outlets, you’re going to need an adapter or a converter. This is a must! You don’t want to be stuck in South America, unable to charge your phone, camera, and laptop!
Translation App – You’re likely to visit a country where not many people speak English. In this case, having a translation app will make your life a whole lot easier.
Money Belt/Waist Bags – These allow you to carry your valuables on you without having to sling a handbag over your shoulder or take a rucksack with you on every tour.
Bag Locks – Although most hotels and resorts are very safe, locking your most valuable travel possessions in a bag with a padlock will give you absolute peace of mind while you’re out and about.
Neck Pillow – If you’re travelling around South America, it’s likely you’ll be taking a lot of bus rides along the way! A neck pillow will come in very handy and allow you to sleep through the longer journeys.
Face Wipes – Taking face wipes can come in very useful, especially after a long day of walking dusty roads.
Now that you’ve read the ultimate South America packing list, you can get packing for your next great adventure. No matter where you decide to travel on the wonderful continent, you’re sure to encounter interesting cultural rituals, explorative multi-country tours, and incredible views like you’ve never seen before. And now, you’ll be prepared for it.
Although every country is different and requires a slightly different variation of this South America packing list, you’ve now got the basics down so you can’t go too wrong.
It’s time to start packing; your South American adventure awaits!